Jan 20, 2010

3 Reasons "The Cloud" Sucks

MP3.com founder Michael Robertson wrote a guest post on TechCrunch yesterday about Apple's purchase of lala.com and their "secret" cloud strategy. He lays out a plan that sounds an awful lot like his strategy at MP3Tunes.com. While conventional wisdom shows many platforms headed to the cloud, there is a long way to go to make this a viable solution to distribute music. Here are 3 Reasons why the Cloud Sucks:

1) Connectivity - I can barely keep a phone call connected with AT&T, how am I supposed to reliably connect to data in the cloud? Until wireless broadband access is low cost, global and reliable the cloud will not function as anything more than a databack up.

2) Control - I have spent a bit of time exploring Spotify, the much heralded European music streaming service. It is a pretty good model for what music in the cloud will look like. The search feature is really, really fast and the catalog is fairly deep. I always search for "Yellow No. 5"(The alt country act not the punk one) and "L.A. Tight" as a test of how deep a streaming service's catalog is. (Found Yellow No. 5 but not L.A. Tight)Here are Spotify's major downfalls(and I am not considering their delayed launch in the U.S. as one of them): a)Essential tracks are not in the catalog, including a number of U.S. indie artists. b)I can't ADD any tracks, I am not in control of the cloud. c) back to my first point, what if I can't connect?

3) People Like to Own stuff - Possession imbues something whether it be a car, a shirt or a song, with value. The cloud devalues everything by stripping the emotional connection away from the owner. While it is cool, could be convenient, and is surely coming - right now the cloud sucks

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